Keep It Clean: How to Make Dry Dog Shampoo

Keep your dog smelling fresh in between baths.

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How often do you wash your dog? For us, it’s usually monthly but sometimes two months. In reality, there is no reason to bathe the dog except to make him or her smell better. In the wild, canines don’t bathe at all. However, domesticated animals can’t live in our homes and smell like a skunk. Most dogs are perfectly happy to avoid a bath and bath time often puts stress on the owner and the pup.

Dog Laying in Grass Next to Plastic Bottle with Brown Lid

DIY Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Dry shampoo will keep your dogs smelling fresh in between baths.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

So how often should you bathe your dog? Many vets recommend that you wash a dog with normal skin once a month. Doing so more often will cause your dog’s skin to become dry. But what do you do when Fido starts to smell a bit ripe before the monthly scheduled bath? Use dry shampoo.


The ingredients to make dry shampoo are simple. It's basically corstarch and baking soda. The cornstarch helps absorb oil and the baking soda deodorizes.

A Box of Baking Soda, Cornstarch, Empty Plastic Bottle and Essential Oil Bottle

DIY Dry Shampoo for Dogs Supplies

Dry shampoo for dogs is made for a few household ingredients.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • essential oil (optional)
  • an empty spice container
  • funnel
Plastic Bottle with Blue Funnel

Add Dry Shampoo for Dogs Ingredients Into Plastic Bottle

Add the cornstarch and baking soda to the plastic bottle.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Add the baking soda and cornstarch to the plastic spice container.

Hand Holding Essential Oil Bottle over Plastic Bottle

Add Essential Oils to Dry Shampoo for Dogs

Add a few drops of essential oils to the dry shampoo.

©Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Add a few drops of essential oils to the mixture. You can use whatever fragrance you like. The essential oil is solely used to add a pleasant smell. Don’t go overboard; essential oils are strong and a little goes a long way. Replace the lid and give the bottle a gentle shake to mix.

How to Use Dry Shampoo

Hand Sprinkling Dry Shampoo onto Dog's Coat

Sprinkle Dry Shampoo for Dogs onto the Coat

Sprinkle a liberal amount of dry shampoo onto your dog's coat.

©Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Sprinkle a liberal amount of the shampoo on your dog’s coat. Shield the face, especially the nose and eyes, when sprinkling it on. Rub the dry shampoo into the coat until it reaches the skin. If your dog gets up and shakes a bit, that’s fine. The shaking will help remove the excess powder. Brush your dog thoroughly to get the rest of the shampoo off of the fur. This may take a few minutes. Rub your dog down with a clean towel to get the rest of the shampoo residue off the coat. Viola! Your dog smells pleasant again.

You can use the dry shampoo weekly if needed. Just make sure after each application you get as much off their fur as you can. Daily brushings will help keep your dog's natural oils evenly distributed, thus making it less likely the dog's skin with dry out.  Give your furbaby a cookie for being a good sport and feel free to snuggle with your fresh-smelling pet. 

30+ DIYs for Your Dog

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Beds: Built-In Blanket

For the pup who loves to snuggle under the covers, make this cozy fleece burrow bed with an attached blanket.

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Beds: Raised Cot

An elevated cot-style dog bed can either keep your dog off the cold floor inside the house, or off a hot deck or patio when he lounges outdoors. While ready-made beds in this style can be costly, you can make one yourself using PVC for less than $30.

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Beds: Double-Duty Dresser

Transform an old dresser into a combination pet bed and bedside table. Your furry friend will love sleeping beside you.

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Beds: Upcycled Drawer

Or, turn an old dresser drawer into a comfy nest using paint, wooden feet and a plush pillow.

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmissano

Beds: Pallet on Wheels

Upcycle a wooden shipping pallet into a stylish bed, complete with casters so it's easy to move. You can even stencil your dog's name along the side for a personal touch.

Beds: Modern End Table

Turn cabinet-grade plywood into a chic, contemporary end table — plus a perch for your pup — with this easy woodworking project.

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Beds: No-Sew Cushion

No needle and thread needed for this easy DIY bed. Just fill two pieces of fleece with stuffing and secure the edges with knots.

Beds: Washable Cover

A removable, washable cover is the key to a fresh-smelling pet bed. Get out your sewing machine and make this farmhouse-style slipcover that you can easily clean when needed.

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Doghouses: Easy Plywood Pad

Make a simple shelter for your fur kid with one sheet of plywood and a few other basic materials.

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Doghouses: Open-Air Hangout

This open doghouse design lets your pup relax in the shade while still enjoying the breeze.

Doghouses: Dog Run With Digs

Transform part of your backyard into an inviting dog run, complete with an upcycled pallet doghouse. If your dog run is fully shaded, you probably won't be able to grow grass there; consider installing artificial turf instead to prevent muddy paws.

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Toys: Sturdy Braided Fleece

Tired of buying expensive toys that your dog destroys in less than a day? This budget-friendly toy holds up to the toughest of chewers. Make it from fabric scraps, old T-shirts or worn-out fleece blankets.

©Debbie Wolfe

Toys: PVC Puzzle

Keep Fido busy for hours with this simple DIY puzzle toy. Just drill holes in a 12-inch length of PVC pipe, fill it with your dog's favorite treats or kibble and cap both ends.

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Toys: Fun Fabric Log

A plastic water bottle forms the center of this woodsy DIY toy. Your dog will love the satisfying crunch it makes when he chews it.

Photo By: Photo by Melissa Caughey

Treats: Frosted Biscuits

Topped with cream cheese frosting, these homemade biscuits are a perfect special treat for any pup.

Treats: Muttloaf

This canine-friendly version of the classic comfort food is packed with healthy ingredients, including peas, carrots and hardboiled eggs.

Treats: Frozen Bites

Keep your dog cool this summer with PB&J-inspired frozen treats, made with healthy ingredients like natural peanut butter and berries.

Treats: Pumpkin Ice Cream

We made this healthy doggie "ice cream" with bananas and pumpkin puree, but you can also use cooked sweet potatoes or natural peanut butter, depending on your pup's preferences.

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Clothes and Accessories: No-Sew Sweater

Hanging onto an old sweater that you no longer wear? Turn the sleeve into a new outfit for your pooch.

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Clothes and Accessories: Monogrammed Leather Tag

This custom leather dog tag is a handsome addition to any dog's collar. Use a leather stamp to monogram it with your pup's initial.

Photo By: Debbie Wolfe

Clothes and Accessories: Festive Collar

Dress up your doggo for the holidays with this DIY holly leaf collar. This easy project requires minimal sewing skills and costs just a few dollars to make.

Clothes and Accessories: Easy Halloween Costume

For Halloween, skip the expensive store-bought costumes and make this adorable fairy getup using glittery cardstock and a favorite jacket.

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Grooming: Oatmeal Shampoo

Gentle oatmeal shampoos are great for dogs with sensitive skin, but store-bought options can be pricy. Make your own shampoo with this easy recipe.

Grooming: Dry Shampoo

If your dog tends to get a little stinky between baths, keep him smelling fresh with this DIY dry shampoo made from baking soda, cornstarch and essential oils.

©Debbie Wolfe

Grooming: Paw Balm

Just like human hands and feet, dogs' paws can become dry and cracked, particularly during the winter. Soothe your dogs' dry pads with this DIY paw balm.

Photo By: Debbie Wolfe

Safety: Stairs With Storage

If your small or senior dog has trouble jumping onto the bed or sofa, a staircase is a must. These DIY steps even offer extra storage for toys.

Photo By: Derek Trimble

Safety: Adjustable Ramp

A ramp is another great option for dogs who need a little help reaching the bed or sofa. This DIY ramp adjusts to a variety of heights so you can use it anywhere in the house.

Safety: Dutch Door

Divided in half horizontally so the bottom portion can remain shut while the top is open, a Dutch door lets you keep an eye on your dog while he's confined in another room. Learn how to convert a basic interior door into a Dutch door.

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Safety: Upcycled Crib Crate

A crate is a great tool for house training a dog or keeping him safely out of the way when you have guests. If you have an old crib lying around that you no longer use, it's surprisingly easy to convert it into a comfy enclosure for your dog.

Safety: Car Hammock

If your dog likes to hop from seat to seat while you drive, keep him safely confined in the back (and keep your car cleaner!) with this DIY car hammock.

Storage: Entryway Organizer

Keep your dog's leashes, treats, toys and other accessories in one convenient spot with this DIY pet storage station. Perfect for an entryway, it lets you easily grab everything you need before heading out on a walk.

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Storage: Feeding Station

This DIY dog bowl station features a storage cabinet for stashing food, treats and other pet supplies. Plus, it'll help keep your floor tidy if you've got a messy eater.

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Storage: Super-Organized Cabinet

Is your pup's stuff is scattered all over the house? Corral it in one place with one large cabinet. Add hooks on the inside of the door for leashes, plus a chalkboard for tracking vet appointments, the dog sitter's number and more.

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Storage: Silhouette Leash Holder

If you have multiple dogs, this DIY leash holder — customized with cute silhouettes — makes it easy to tell which leash belongs to which pup.

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